Skip to main content
Publish date:

"Good writing is good writing. There should be no dumbing down for children, and certainly not for teens."


Writing YA this NaNoWriMo holiday season?

Image placeholder title

Here are two publishing pros weighing in on style and voice in the latest from Promptly’s Top 20 Tips From WD in 2010 series (the quote-worthy quips that branded themselves in my mind when we were creating these magazines throughout the year). A regular prompt follows. Fear the phonies.

No. 15: YA Voice Lessons
“I think teen readers are—and have
always been—a lot smarter and savvier than many give them credit for.
Today’s teens in particular tend to be remarkably mature, articulate and
pop-culturally aware. And I find that teens have an amazing radar for
inauthenticity—for 'phonies,' as our dear Holden Caulfield would put it.
So with all that in mind, I think YA readers really respond to an
authentic voice—one that doesn’t feel pandering or dumbed down in any
way. And if that voice is authentic—if it rings true and doesn’t try too
hard—I think YA readers are really open to wherever those voices can
range: from ones that are earnest and heartbroken, to wry, witty,
hilarious takes on life and love."

—Aimee Friedman (author, Scholastic senior editor), “YA Today,” by Jessica Strawser, May/June 2010 (click here to check the rest of the issue out)

“The line between YA and adult is very slight. While YA authors still need to be conscious that teens don’t have the life experience that adults do, the word choices, choice of topic, narrative skill, should be similar. I have always felt literature for children and teens should be evaluated on the same terms as adult literature. Good writing is good writing. There should be no cheapening or dumbing down for children, and certainly not for teens. And I suppose it’s like those great Disney movies; there can be a layer for the adult, a layer of meaning, humor, depth, that the younger readers won’t catch. Though the smarter ones always do."
—Stephen Fraser (agent, Jennifer DeChiara Literary), “YA Today”

***


WRITING PROMPT: House Guests

Feel free to take the following prompt home or post a response (500
words or fewer, funny, sad or stirring) in the Comments section below.
By posting, you’ll be automatically entered in our occasional
around-the-office swag drawings. If you’re having trouble with the
captcha code sticking, e-mail your piece and the prompt to me at
writersdigest@fwmedia.com, with “Promptly” in the subject line, and I’ll
make sure it gets up.

In your new home, you discover an infestation of something you didn't even think, well, infested places.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 590

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a cut poem.

What Writers Should Know About High-End Weddings

What Writers Should Know About High-End Weddings

2022 is seeing the highest number of weddings in almost 40 years. With celebration on the mind, authors Asher Fogle Paul and Mary Hollis Huddleston offer 5 things writers should know about high-end weddings.

Mail's Here!

Mail's Here!

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, you've got mail.

Brian Andrews and Jeffrey Wilson: On the Power of Creative Teamwork

Brian Andrews and Jeffrey Wilson: On the Power of Creative Teamwork

Authors Brian Andrews and Jeffrey Wilson discuss the benefits of working as co-authors and the process of writing the newest Presidential Agent novel, Rogue Asset.

5 Tips for Writing About Big Historical Events in Fiction

5 Tips for Writing About Big Historical Events in Fiction

Novelist Anna Stuart shares her top five tips for writing about big historical events in fiction so that the story stays front and center...and engaging.

Mantel vs. Mantle (Grammar Rules)

Mantel vs. Mantle (Grammar Rules)

This post looks at the differences between mantel and mantle with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Agent Advice

Agent Advice: Analieze Cervantes of The Harvey Klinger Literary Agency

Agent Advice (this installment featuring Analieze Cervantes of The Harvey Klinger Literary Agency) is a series of quick interviews with literary agents about their thoughts on writing, publishing, and just about anything else.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: 4 WDU Courses, an Upcoming Webinar, Submission Deadline for Your Favorite Writing Websites, and More!

This week, we’re excited to announce 4 WDU courses, an upcoming webinar on creating an author website, and more!

How To Find the Right Professional Editor for Your Writing

How To Find the Right Professional Editor for Your Writing

It's not enough to know when your manuscript is ready for a professional edit—it's knowing who is the right fit to do the editing. Here, Tiffany Yates Martin discusses how to find the right professional editor for your writing.